Neither the rolling acrid smoke nor the stench of stale beer wafting in the backwater tavern could disguise the fact that a fight was about to break out. [this sentence is maybe too long, and the idea that this guy can somehow smell the future is a bit of a tough concept to throw a reader in on] I knew it. The gun powder on my unwanted “friend’s” effeminate fingers told me he knew it. I sighed into my mug of the cheapest whiskey money could buy and thought of the good old days when I was the hunter.
I mean, sure, one fight was as good as the next, but what good is it if your heart doesn’t thud a corrupt cadence of anticipation [I'm having trouble understanding the register this character speaks in. This phrase is quite 'purple prose' -y, flowery and poetic, yet the character seems to dislike effeminacy and that sort of thing. Woulda grizzled veteran really use words lke 'cadence'? Or are we to understand he is an educated and poetic old veteran? It's a bit hard to see what kind of character this person is]' ? The lead up is where it’s at, not the wiping of blood from your blade at the end. The previous minute or two had guaranteed I would enjoy this fight. It wasn’t the cocked pistol resting in his mouldy hip-holster. Nor his three companions spread around the floor, each watching on with shifting eyes and twitching fingers.
No, it was his feathery voice. The type which held as much truth as a fat lady’s corset; all illusion set on deceiving into a very nasty situation [ This sentence is ungrammatical and doesn't make complete sense. An illusion generally doesn't 'deceive into' - there's a mis-match between the noun and the verb construction you've paired with it.] or There was one cure for that voice. It ended in crimson; my favourite colour.
I tilted my head to allow a better view of the man who had sat in the empty bar stool to my right. The vein in my neck pulsed to life as recognition spread through me [I can't really visualize this. I thought the pulse was taken on an artery, not a vein? Was it not pulsing before this point, in which case do we assume the speaker is undead? Again, the noun and the verb you've paired here don't exactly match - 'recognition spread'...how can recognition 'spread'? We would usually say something more like 'realization dawned' or 'I recognized it'] .
I think there's some good raw ideas here, but the language is quite clunky and doesn't flow that well, and it's still very hard to tell what's going on here. I can understand some things: that there's some grizzled old veteran having a drink, he doesn't seem to like the attitude and voice of this camp dude near him (which is a shame: I love 'effeminate', camp dudes, and have nothing against a man being 'effeminate'), he likes killing people, a fight is going to happen, and he doesn't think it will be that much fun. But I don't know who either of these men are, where in the world or what era they are in, what they are doing, or why it's important, unfortunately. It's ok to let these unfold gradually, sure, but within the first 250 words it would be handy to have a few hints.
Regarding the phonetic spelling - I love phonetic spelling when it is well-done (I'm from Scotland and love Irvine Welsh's 'Trainspotting', which is actually easier for some Scots to read than standard English), but I did find agents nowadays kind of hated it? I had some Scottish phonetic spellings in mine and it was consistently pointed out as a major problem. I've had to remove them, unfortunately. Also, if this is a fantasy world where the character's voice isn't based on any one particular regional accent, it might be harder to do his phonetic prononciation consistently? Is his voice cockney, UK Yorkshire, USA deep south, West Country UK, Scots borders, East Coast USA...? He's not obviously from a region that maps onto any one of these (that we've seen so far).
That said, phonetic pronounciation was done beautifully in things like the later Terry Pratchett books. BUT the viewpoint character spoke standard recieved-pronounciation English, and it was only minor characters that spoke infrequently who were represented phonetically. It really worked, but it didn't overwhelm the novel or make it hard to read. I've also seen it work where it's only infrequent particular words that are spelled phonetically, as with the Scots speakers in the Tobacco Lords trilogy. So...it's tough to know exactly when to use it, and you should maybe be careful with it if you're just starting out.
Source: I have degrees in scottish literature and linguistics. And tried to convince agents to accept my phonetic spellings. Which they wouldn't :(
Link to my 250-word novel opening in my signature, if you’re willing to take a quick look – trying to get some feedback to sharpen it up!